Social Entrepreneurship

Calling all Social Entrepreneurs!  Being a social entrepreneur means you are passionate about a cause.  In addition, you must be passionate about leading a business.

Nonprofit, forprofit, hybrid, you’ll want to run your organization with supreme efficiency.    How you execute determines how effective you are in delivering your product or service.  In this case, your product is serving the community — be it addressing global poverty, energy efficiency, organic farming, solar solutions, electric cars, or socially conscious travel.   So let’s get started on some quick tips to help make you and all entrepreneurs the best they can be — so we can deliver excellence to our clients all across the world.

How Can You Prevent Burnout?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 19, 2012

Pamela’s Response:

Improv!

Have an outside activity which keeps you enthusiastic. For me, it’s Improv. Improv gets me out of my business head, and into creativity, good listening skills and enhanced teamwork. I get to transform myself and get into a totally different realm! If it’s not improv, what is it for you? Is it running a race in the wilderness? Knitting on the beach? Creating art from old coke cans? Keep fresh and learn!

How Can Entrepreneurs Be Scammed?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
December 13, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Heart Out

Many entrepreneurs believe.
They have to.
At all times.
That’s how they are made up: They have a vision, and most times, other don’t believe it. They can’t see it.
Believing is an awesome view of life.  Don’t we want to Believe?
     Such as…
                     Anything is Possible

                    Truth will Win

                    The Right Plan is happening Right Now

                    Good is Present Everywhere… Find it, See it

These are the things I try to believe.  And it can be hard when something tries to distort it.  Entrepreneurs are used to going against the grain, but this is where they can get “scammed.”

When they believe in a person who seems to do them wrong. Or behaves in a way that isn’t right.  And yet the entrepreneur might give a second chance… and for some of us, a second, third, fourth, fifth.  We don’t want to give up. For me as an entrepreneur, I never want to give up on people.   Yet this is where it can hurt your organization, dent your vision (briefly for a time), hurt your heart, or simply slow your progress.
So in essence, don’t get scammed — by yourself. No one can do it to you; you continue to give that someone a chance.  You can always believe that the person is trying their best, or that there is another right place for them, or in worst case — wish them well and believe you did your best.

How Do You Hire and Keep Great Employees?
Asked by YFS Magazine
November 29, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Share Your Goals

Focus on encouraging a balanced life and the sharing of one another’s goals.  Let’s see how much we can help each other.  We all need to feel honored as whole, functioning people with families and outside interests, as well as our commitment to achieving the goals and vision of the organizations for whom we work. When people feel their work lifestyle ‘fits’ them, and that you honor them fully as an individual, then they will be even more inspired to help with the vision of the organization.

What’s the Biggest Mistake Entrepreneurs Can Make?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
November 21, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Advance People Just Because Of Time

Just because someone has been with you for a long time, doesn’t mean you should advance them. It’s difficult, but true. We must appreciate loyalty. Yet at the same time, strong execution and positive attitudes must also be part of the contribution.

Don’t advance people just because of how long they have been with you. Being honest will help them, and you. You will gain the right team members for your organization, and they will find their right place, too.

How Can You Maximize Google Analytics?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
November 3, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Change Your Ads Now

Change Your Ads. Watch what is working. Keep your existing campaigns, and create new ones. Compare and contrast each word; each sequence of words; all the phrases. Whatever results you wish for, Google Analytics is not a stone. Make it a river, constantly flowing with changes and new ideas.

What’s Your Best Tip for a Contest?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
October 31, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

One Question On Facebook

Use Social Media! Put one question on Facebook which allows your customers to know about your product, and ask for feedback. Tell them a product you have, and then ask them the one add-on feature they’d like. You choose the winner based on an idea you actually use (or think is super creative).

Promote your product, engage your customers, and learn from the feedback!

How Can You Best Track Expenses?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
October 25, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Write On It!  Then Save In One Place

Keep it simple by writing on the receipt.  Note the place, the person, the reason for the meeting, food or travel.   Then put it in one designated place.  For me, I put it in a slot in my wallet that is only for receipts.
Then make sure your office tracking back home is sound.  Expense reports should have the date filed and the date of occurrence; who the expense is for as well as who filled it out; clear designations/categories; clear signature approval (if you are CEO, who signs yours?)
Ensure your systems and policies are top notch.

How Can You Build Your Email Lists?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
October 4, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Go to Events Outside Your Industry

Build your contacts outside your industry. You’d be amazed that someone who doesn’t seem like a direct client may have avenues into new people, and new introductions that help you scale. Your ideas and services will be new. Only going after people in your industry risks them being inundated by similar information.

Build your lists by being unique.

What Makes a Successful Marketing Campaign?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 30, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Pick Action Words

Have a Call To Action: Pick Action Words and drive them home. Use them in your language and repeat them again and again, in a meaningful way…we know this works from Nike: “Just Do it.” Be the athlete you need to be without delay. It’s based on verbs, and a call to action. At UniversalGiving it’s “Give Your 100%!” People can give the full amount of their philanthropy and feel they are making a meaningful donation to a nonprofit.

What’s your Call to Action?

When Should You Raise Your Prices?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 14, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

After Longterm Service

Prove yourself first.  Give it your all, help the client in more ways than you promised.  Look at increasing the pricing for valued, long-term clients first before simply upping prices in general.  Focus instead on the long-term relationships, providing value, and if ethical and appropriate, increasing prices.  Enjoy this process of sincere service which will lead you to more revenue!

How Can You Drive Traffic on Your Website?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 9, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Drive Them to a Specific Webpage

Give them the answer they want, immediately. Rather than direct them to your homepage, drive them to a specific page of your website.  You can then highlight an important part of your service.  This allows them to get to know a certain part of you more in depth.
For example, if you are in consulting, rather than them learning in general about your services, allow them to ‘deep dive’ into one core aspect. They’ll gain greater knowledge and respect for your expertise, ask questions, and begin a dialogue which will keep them coming back!

How Can You Improve Direct Mailing?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 8, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Go Vertical
Only pick one vertical.  Who are you seeking?  Socially responsible companies?   Women aged 25-65?  People who are very environmentally conscious?   Teens?
Don’t go broad, go specific.  Then test it again with another vertical, and examine which returned more results!

How Can You Quickly Generate New Leads?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 25, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Read a Magazine Outside Your Industry: Get Out of Your Sector

If you’re in consumer goods, read an industry magazine on the airplane industry. If you’re in the financial sector, read a blog from a leading nonprofit professional. And if you’re in marketing, read a newsletter on the aerospace industry.

Anyone getting on a plane is a target for consumer goods.  If you’re an banker, you can serve nonprofits who need to set up accounts for their organization.  And why wouldn’t someone studying space may need to buy your car, your latest barbeque grill or your cosmetics.

Get out of Your Sector.  Your consumers are all over the place.

How Can You Fundraise from Friends?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 19, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

It’s Beyond the Money

With all fundraising, focus on the people and the relationships–not the money. This is especially true with your friends. You want to ensure they feel valued for themselves as a person. There is no “quick-sell,” “quick-ask” with a friend, nor would I say that is ever appropriate to do. People need to feel valued and respected as people. Then, it’s wise to try to engage them in some type of thinking around your business, so they feel valued beyond an ask for money.

How Can You Succeed with Social Media?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 11, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Pick Your Top Two Strategies and Test

There’s a lot out there in social media.  Your facebook page, your company’s facebook page, your blog, your company’s blog, your twitter, your company’s twitter, groups, pages, “like this” and “join that”!

Pick your top 2 strategies. Focus on 2 of them and gain a strong following.  For example, it could be a corporate twitter account announcing your latest deals or products; if you are a strong leader you might also them complement it with a thoughtful, consistent blog on what trends you are seeing in your industry.

Focus and do two things well in social media. Then evaluate in 3 months and 6 months time.  What is working and gaining traction?   Augment what i successful and strip away the other. Then look into one other element of social media that would be beneficial to add, based on what you know is helping you gain traction.

How Can You Improve Your Blog?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 6, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Write In “Bites”

Write less; write with a focus. If you are a writer in any capacity, it’s your job to figure out your main idea and communicate it succinctly.   Then deliver this value in a positive, upbeat way.

We are in a culture that needs quick sound bites.  “Bites” that help us be better as individuals and organizations.  And ‘Bites’ that are inspiring.

These Bites might be one idea on how to be a more effective leader; a tip on how to be kinder in our day-to-day.

Write in Bites and you’ll help yourself and your readers be better leaders — and the world a better place!

How Can You Improve Your Branding?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 17, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Notch up the Color

Keep your brand. But if you want to make a low cost but significant difference, notch up or dial down the color a bit.  In this way, you don’t lose all the work behind your brand. But you can get a little different tone; create a little different atmosphere.  You change the impact of your message, without changing the message.

Watch for any differences in types of leads you are attracting or new clients. Ask them informally to say the three qualities that describe your organization. If it goes from “reliable and trustworthy,” to “dynamic and trustworthy,” then your color change has done the job.

What Internet App Do You Want to See Invented?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 10, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Give Me A Character Rundown/Composite

As more information gets shared publicly, more about people’s actions will be known.

I’d love to be able to get someone’s profile — but based on character.  I don’t want to know just where you worked — but if you wrote something inappropriate about a colleague or your place of work.  Not always, but often, it speaks to how our character shines through. How do you handle difficult conversations?  By spreading a bad word on Facebook, or by resolving it discreetly and personably, one-on-one, with the other party?

The next valuable technology app would be a Character Composite, which sources information from all over the web to provide an assessment of how “clean” someone’s character is.


How Do You Engage the Community?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 4, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Corporate Social Responsibility Begins With A Donation

Corporate Social Responsibility begins with each one of us.  And if you want to show appreciation to your community or to an employee, giving a meaningful gift is a way to do it. Here’s an example: You can donate $10 to give a student in the Dominican Republic a textbook, or give $150 to provide a Tibetan refugee with a roof…and you can give these gifts on behalf of a loved one.

When someone receives this, their heart opens. They feel a part of the contribution, and part of giving back.  And of course, it also helps build goodwill and your brand.  No matter what size your corporation, be it just you or a Fortune 500 company, your community and business will benefit.

How Do You Appeal to a Niche?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 2, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Excellence in Communication

Sometimes your service might actually be on par with a competitor’s.  Equal but different, or, even very much the same.  Here’s how you can distinguish yourself.

Communicate with excellence in every way.  Use professional language and use email; don’t text. Keep regular updates, for example an established check-in every week or two weeks. You may or may not use the full amount of time, or even need it every week, but it tells your client they are important to you.  If there is a challenge, then communicate proactively about it. Get to the client first, before the employee gets to them. Show them you acknowledge the issue, and, the proactive steps you will take.

One note is is that excellence in communication is not difficult. It is time-intensive and razor sharp. However, if you commit to it, you’ll save yourself hours of working through misunderstandings, and establish your brand as a top, trusted professional. Your entire working relationship will go smoother, and, begin to fly like a rocket. Trust means they won’t need all the checkins, and soon you will find they are positive and brief, allowing you to get back to the work at hand.

Finally – be on time. One client noted:”You’re always on the call one minute in advance.  I told my husband the other day, I can’t believe it. I can’t beat her to it!”  Even the smallest demonstrations build buyin, every step of the way.

Commit to Excellence in Communication.

What Is Your Top Business Frustration?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 26, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Star Players Don’t Need to Learn
The Management Grey

You have a great team member, even a star player.  They are positive,  productive.   They contribute a lot, and are strong professionals.

And the interesting insight is that they don’t need to learn.

Or at least that’s what they think.

This isn’t always black and white. If your employee simply didn’t execute, didn’t have a good attitude, and didn’t think they need to learn, that’d be an easy call. But that’s where the Management Grey comes in.  It’s about a star player that still has some areas to work on.

So your star player has so many things going for them. Yet they aren’t open to making their already good presentation better. Or to accepting feedback to make their good-almost-great, a solid great-great.

The life lesson is: You always need to learn.  Starter employee to CEO, all along the chain. You should always want the feedback.  You can always get better.

The minute you don’t want to learn from someone, is when you just lost everything.  You might still be a star.  But you won’t shine as brightly.

People won’t want to work with you.  Your management track will be slowed down; you might not get promoted.   And so you, and only you —  defeat you.

Be a star player: Keep committed to Learning. Shine forth more brilliantly.

What Is the One Top Quality You Look For in a Potential Hire?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 29, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

It’s In Their Eyes

Look into someone’s eyes.   You’ll probably hire them for them.

Eyes speak qualities you need in any relationship in life.  They communicate trust and trustworthiness; clarity of purpose; firmness; intellect; kindness; compassion.  It’s this balance of qualities you’d want and need in any team member.

Eyes that are hard, shift away uncomfortably, or look scared or tentative — communicate more than any resume or reference will tell you.

Of course you need to appropriately check the team members’ resume, references.  Please do ask the right questions. Get to know them in as many ways as you can. And listen to a fair assessment from other team members.  And when it comes down to it, check your gut as to how you felt when your eyes meet one another.   Trust is the eyes.

How Can You Get the Most from a Trade Show?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 28, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

One Word

Catch them with one word.

Choose a word that drives their interest to come see you. Put it in bold letters across the backdrop of your booth, or on the front of the table.

What would draw people to your business?    What would make them halt?

For example, we deal with poverty.  Our word is UNACCEPTABLE

If you are in insurance, could it be SAVE?  Investing… YOUR BEST NEST EGG….   Personal Care… TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

These are all messages that are compelling, and personal.  They affect your life positively, and will draw people to you.

Halt your current and future clients with a meaningful word, and then back it up with an equally relevant service.

Find a powerful word

How Can You Keep a Blog Fresh?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 2, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Listen.

Listen to conversations in Starbucks…
and to what your peers are saying

Listen to what people are talking about on the subway…
as well as what the top leaders at universities are saying.

Listen to the news from multiple sources
as well as a new source from the local community or country, especially if it is international.

Listen… and the ideas on how to help your clients will come to thought…

in new and different ways.

Think about what you have listened to.  What was one unique new approach, new way of doing things, new idea you have heard, and how might it help your community?

Listen…
and your blog will be continually thoughtful and helpful.

 

How Can You Avoid a Business Disaster?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 28, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Walk Away

One of the smartest things you can do in business is walk.

Walk Away.

Most disasters are based on human decisions.

If the person you are dealing with makes you uncomfortable, it’s a message. Listen to the inner nudge of a truthful, trustworthy instinct. As sentient women and men, it’s one of out greatest assets: feelings that warn you.

If you do say yes, be prepared to leave. Know your limit and boundary.

Most disasters are based on human decision. Make the best decisions you can by listening to the highest sense of truth about the situation and your instinct.

Disasters soon will find other doors to knock at–and it won’t be yours.

How Do You Know If You Have a Hobby or a Business?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 18, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Is it Relevant to Two Countries or 200?

Your idea from inception should have global impact. Is it relevant to 2 countries or 200?

If your idea relates only to a specific group of people or culture, you may be limiting your vision.

If your idea can be the next Google, it has global impact.  But don’t we mean to be the next Twitter?

Have a worldwide impact and you are on your way.

 

How Can You Get Your Brand on Target?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 14, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

100 Percent Clarity

Your brand has to be a no-brainer.  It needs to reflect something everyone wants.  Make sure it’s clear, pure and provides immediate value.  As an example, we use the tagline, “Give Your 100%,” because we take no cut on the donations made on our site.  Everyone wants that effective philanthropy.  Create a brand that will reflect your company, and clearly resonate with what your customers are seeking.

How Can You Best Use Social Media?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 11, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Get a 22-year-old Eric Kuhn

Especially if you are older, you need to get younger people to spearhead your social media. Take for example Eric Kuhn. At the age of 22 he became CNN’s  audience interaction producer. He was integral in their Help Haiti efforts, launched major partnerships with Foursquare and Gowalla, and managed more than 250 Twitter accounts. Eric was so successful he was then swooped up by United Talent Agency to lead their Social Media Strategy for the entire creative agency, which has represented Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford and the Coen brothers.

Eric is smart, proactive and speaks social media. If any of you are older, learn the social media, AND invest in someone younger. It’s not enough to know about or understand it; you need to speak, live and embrace the way social media communicates in your professional and personal life.  Everyone needs an Eric Kuhn at their company.

How Can You Find Information on Your Industry?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 3, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

May the  INTERN FORCE Be with You!

Stay on Top. Know the trends. Keep up, keep up with your industry!  If you’ve been in your sector a long time, it’s even more important you have fresh eyes looking for fresh information.

That’s where the INTERN FORCE comes in.  Have a team of college interns source information.  They will look in different places.  Remember, this generation has grown up living on the computer. They are much better drivers, navigating the internet space, than those of us in our late 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s.

And not just one.  Have multiple students, and you’ll get multiple vantage points on your industry. You’ll end up learning not only a mountain on your sector, but also how they found it.

Learn from and leverage a team of interns!

How Can You Increase Office Efficiency?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
January 3, 2011

Pamela’s Response:

Knock Down the Walls

No matter what your level at the organization, knock down the walls.  Have an open office environment where everyone is working together in an open room instead of private offices. There are several reasons for this, all of which create an open, freely communicating, efficient culture. It also promotes increased understanding in your office.

Yes, I have a standup desk in the middle of our office. I love it.  It helps me stay close with our team, and help them if needed.  I want to try to be available as much as I can, to be accessible.   Additionally, I am able to make requests of team members. This cuts down on meeting times, increases efficiency, and also trains others, in a very informal way, about the priorities other team members are working on.  As CEO, it also allows me to hear when team members have heard correctly, or not, and allows me to help realign priorities if necessary. And if I need to make a call, then I can go into the stairwell, take a walk or use my cellphone on the rooftop…there are plenty of options!

Having an open office opens up communication.  No one has to walk through a foreboding door to approach the CEO. You help impart learning, and you learn yourself. Knock down the walls, and you’ll be able to give and gain insights in a fresh, natural way.  Keep the entrepreneurial culture alive!

 

What’s the One Thing Every Entrepreneur Should Acquire?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
December 21, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

SPACE

Everyone needs to acquire some Space.  It is not so much physical space or a locale.  It is unchartered, unscheduled time…We need openness in our days.

Things come up. Important people call.  Important people to us call, such as a loved one or family member. A team member needs your help to brainstorm or needs help in their personal growth.  You child needs to speak with you, or maybe your grownup sister does, too.

If you are working a back-to-back schedule, how do you make time for these important people, impromtu calls, unexpected meetings?  These are some of the most important, constructive, building, caring shared moments you will have with people. Please don’t miss them. They are important for them, and, for you.

As an entrepreneur, as challenging as it is, we need to build in SPACE to our days and calendars. It will honor people, and  the most important relationships we have.  SPACE will allow us greater strength, love and peace in our lives.

 

What’s Your Best Tip to Boost Holiday Sales?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
December 13, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Why Your Customers Will Return THREE Times

Bring them to your website,  bring them again…and bring them again.   We’ve often heard of a rule of threes.  It applies here.

Let everyone know that if they buy, and buy again by coming back, they get an additional 20% off.  If they come back a third time, they get 50%.

Some people might ‘split up their order’ to take advantage of this deal. That’s ok.  By that time, you will have featured more lucrative products, and they most likely will be attracted to buy additional items they hadn’t planned on.  You will know what they have already bought, so when they sign in, you can customize their experience by having the items relevant to them, easily accessible.

You can make the percentage off on select items. You can offer it for a limited time. But get them to return, return again, and return again.

 

What’s Your Best Advice When Taking Your Business Internationally?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
December 8, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Listening: A Business Bliss

When getting involved internationally, it’s so important to listen to others. Respect the person, the culture, and their local community.  To do so is to honor the unique wisdom and presence they bring to the world.

Listening, and striving to understand other people, is the right thing to do. It will also open your business up to new opportunities. When you honor people and their local customs, they will want to work with you.  And you will love working with them!  Listening is mirrored in Respect,  which is a type of “business bliss.”

 

How Do You Overcome Feelings of Overwhelm?
Asked by Stephanie Calahan, Calahan Solutions
December 6, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Be Grateful

When the tidal wave of overwhelm comes, you can be sure to knock its socks off by taking a different approach!

Be grateful.  This automatically brings peace. And it doesn’t have to be related to the issue at hand. You can be grateful for a specific loved one in your life, for the brilliant blue of the sky or the replenishment of the rain. You can be grateful for any friend that you have, for a lovely meal, or for a smile.

Don’t let the overwhelm rule you.  You lead your life…which starts with, middles with, ends with, gratitude.

We can be grateful.

 

What Is Your One Biggest Tip For Becoming A Successful Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
December 1, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Don’t Ever Give This Up: Humble Will

Don’t ever give this up.  Your Humble Will.   It’s your commitment to persevere.

Business models will change and do change. Systems change, marketplaces change, technology changes.

But your Humble Will to persevere cannot.  Your organization relies on it; your team must know it. And you must found this commitment to persevere deeply within your soul and daily execution.

Please note I add “humble will.” It’s a listening commitment, a listening perseverance. You can’t just can’t just bulldoze ahead….. You have to be in touch with your marketplace, sector, clients, board, partners, team in order to know the best way to go, each moment, each day. And that takes humble listening.

Don’t ever give up your Humble Will to persevere.

  

What’s Your Best Tip for Small Business Marketing?
Asked by Project Campfire
November 17, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Don’t Overlook the Drycleaners

As a small business, be open about who might be able to help you. Your best target market might be in the parking lot of Target, at the drycleaners, or at church!  All of these groups can really help you market to their constituencies through newsletters (paper and online), brochures in their storefronts, and word of mouth.

But most important, be ready to give back first.  Maybe you can offer to feature someone else’s product in your newsletter.  Will they do the same for you?  It’s  not about Linear Giving.  Generously give of your resources and it will come back to you in ways that you won’t expect…  So start giving…

What’s Your Best Tip on Branding a Business?
Asked by Project Campfire
October 28, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Are You Nike?

Do you think you can be Nike?

Then instead of starting with your naming session, you might want to start with some symbols, pictures, ideas, potential logos which you feel “say who your company is.”   Imagine if your company was known only by its logo!   Think that big.   Think of the brand, feel, image, connotation that imagery has for you.

Then start your naming session.

Go Absolutely  “Clear” or “Crazy”

You can go “absolutely clear” or “absolutely crazy.”   Absolutely Clear is a name that ties in exactly  to what you do.  “PlumbersOntheGo.”    Absolutely Crazy is a brand name like your logo: “Steega.”  It’s not a real word but conjures up a fun, whimsical, strong or pungent meaning when people see or hear it.

But alongside of any name you choose, you will want to create a logo, that someday, could ‘stand alone.’

If that logo stood alone, what would you want it to ‘say’?

 

How Can You Get a Free Resource for Your Business?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
October 13, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Free People!

Interns.  We have more interns than we do employees. We give them ownership, opportunity, and optimism. We believe in them.  We let them take on significant roles. And often times, these interns become very powerful, results-oriented producers.   They are 23, 42 or 70.  Black, Jewish, Chinese, Hong Kong, Agnostic, Venezuelan, South Korean,  Christian, Japanese.  They come from diverse backgrounds which build our culture, organization and global service!

We then grow them into consultants, part-time employees and at times, full-time employees. And sometimes not.  Sometimes it’s a great, three week or three month internship which positively benefits both parties, and we both move on.  Or we may provide a recommendation.  Whichever the case, we try to help them get where they need to go.  We want them to be their highest selves!

Yet remember…a team is never free.  A team takes time.  Beautiful time to listen, develop, encourage people. To help them reach their goals — and to reach yours. They need coaching and directing.  Time is one of your most valuable resources, and in my mind, this is one of the most important ways we can spend it.

 

What’s One Simple Idea You Should Have Thought of Sooner?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
October 4, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Start Singing Now

When I was younger, I used to sing and make up songs in my backyard.  I’d try to record them on a tape recorder. I loved piano, but not so much classical, which I was studying.

I always felt something was missing creatively. But then I fell into Improv.  And now I have a troupe that sings Musicals and Operas from “nothing.” You give us a suggestion, and we create a 45 minute, fully improvised play!

What’s really interesting is that I use my improv skills: listening, intuition, teamwork — at work and in my personal life.  So while I am grateful improvised singing has reentered my life, do take the first hit. When you are urged to follow a calling, there is something valuable you need in your life.  Cherish it, act upon it.  It is wisdom, joy, and a guide.

 

How Can You Find a Great New Business Idea?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 22, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Start With People You Really Like

What group of people do you really like to work with?  Moms, Disabled Teens, the Deaf Community, Techies, CEOs, Executive Assistants, Actors?

Then ask them what their biggest pain points are.

Pick one that inspires you.

You’ll come up with a solution, make them happy, and make you money.

And any client service calls you have, you will love to do, because you started with People You Really Like.

 

What Is the Difference Between Road Reps and Showroom Reps?
Asked by Sarah Shaw, The Entreprenette Gazette
September 13, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Road Reps Work Harder to Meet Real People and Real Results

Road Reps are real.  If they are truly good, they know their market well. It’s not just about presenting to people.

They’ve done their homework. They know their target audience. They know who they are meeting with and why. They don’t wait for someone to show up at the booth. They are proactively determining who is the right and best person to meet. Otherwise it is a waste of time.

Invest in real road reps who care about real people and real results.

 

How Can You Test the Market for a New Product?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 13, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Go to a Movie Theatre

Every type of target market goes to movie theatre.  Your future customers are there!

Bring your prototype, your photo, your idea, and plant yourself before or after the 7:30 movie.   That’s when people have just gone to dinner and are headed to the movie. You’ll get YGens, retired people, people on dates, company executives, moms, kids, teenagers. It’s a hub for every possible customer you could have.

Show them your product or tell them your idea. Ask them how much they would pay for it.  Ask why they chose that amount. Ask what would make them pay more for it.  If they say they’d only take it for free, well, then you’ve got your first challenge to work on:  You need to define your value more.

That means either instilling more value in your product, or, being able to describe the existing value in your product.

To take it to the next level, see if you can set up a stand at the movie theatre. Offer something for free. You might have to draw people to you first for something, and then get the conversation going so you can test, learn and refine.

While you’re at it, as an entrepreneur, you need some downtime too.  Be sure to catch that movie!

 

How Can Entrepreneurs Build Credibility?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 13, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

One Line and the Crowd Speaks

Put one line about your product and service in an online venue. Then surround it with quotes from industry leaders, clients, thought leaders and team members, if applicable.

Get them intrigued about your service…wanting to know more…by what everyone else is saying about you!  Then below, link to fuller information on your service.

Capture their interest. Confirm quality and enthusiasm from the testimonials. Then allow them to learn more and dive in!

 

What Is a Small Change for a Big Difference in Business?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 3, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Stop Spending, Then Spend

First, Stop Spending. Figure out how you can do it for less.

Manpower?  Sometimes we are operating on 80% interns.  Most of them gogetter 20-somethings who want a ton of ownership– and we give it to them.

Law Firm? Inspire them to be probono. Show them how your service can make a difference in the world. Show them how it makes someone’s life easier.   If you convince them, then fill out the corporate or trademark paperwork yourself.  So much of this is trackable yourself.

Our Business Cards? Eight years running and we still print them out of our computer.

THEN SPEND

Invest the funds you do have — in Keeping, Promoting and Advancing the Key Team Members who really make a difference.

 

How Would You Handle an Unsupportive Spouse?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 2, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

The Best Thread You Can Find

Before you ask for a thing: Promote your spouse’s passion. Hold a fundraiser at your home, or cook a meal for their business associates.  If they play poker or bridge, make their favorite meal for their buddies or girlfriends. If he or she works on cars or needlepoint, get them a gift of the best tools or best threads you can find.

They will be thrilled (and maybe surprised) that you intimately know their about their passion.  They will be engaged and happy that you care so much.  Then let it all go and go back to the day-to-day…

At a time when they seem perhaps less than supportive… gently look them in the eyes and pause.  And with sincerity and deep kindness, simply say, “Remember how you felt when I got you the maximum strength thread for your latest pillow making gift… how that made you feel? That’s how I feel right now.  I need that “thread.”  And my thread is that you…

You can fill in the rest…but the key is always gentleness, always sincerity, always kindness in how you deliver your help to them… and your need of help from them.

 

What Is the Best Way to Approach a Magazine Editor?
Asked by Sarah Shaw, The Entreprenette Gazette
July 20, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Approach and Appeal To Them…Not You

We often approach the media with an ask. We ask them… what we want them to do for us.

Reverse this and come to them with something of interest to them.  What are they passionate about? Then even if it is smaller part of your business, address that area.  it demonstrates you are listening to them, and not just promoting yourself.

In our business we can promote philanthropy and volunteerism in general. Or, we can appeal the editor’s interest. Do they care about education, economic empowerment, or the environment? Then we find projects and articles that meet those issues, and tailor our outreach accordingly.

Listen…

 

How Would You Handle a Distracting Spouse?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 20, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Feed Them Their Passion

What lights their eyes up?  Then give it to them.  :)   It could be an author they love…and so will read for hours… the latest Economist?  People magazine?

It might be lasagna, the lastest DVD of Curb Your Enthusiasm, or the latest and greatest Net Flix.

Now these treats may absorb them at times. However, sometimes it is a good, old fashioned talk.  Here’s where you simply and sincerely express your love for that person… and are excited about some shared time or event that you are planning together.  And then express that a current project you are working on needs your attention.  It doesn’t mean you care about them any less. You just don’t want to be divided.  There is time for the work, and there is certainly time for him or her.  Express all of this with great sincerity and love. Then enjoy the work, and, enjoy your time together.

 

How Can You Research Your Target Market?
Asked by Sarah Shaw, The Entreprenette Gazette
July 15, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Go Back; Magazine It; Tried and True

Sometimes this is easier than you think.

And often…focus groups become contrived. What people say they would do during a focus group is often not the case in real life.  So our advice is: Go Back; Magazine It; and then “Tried and True.”

Go Back.  The first is to “Go Back.”  Do a survey with your existing customer base (no matter how small) or a customer base you think similar to yours.   You can use SurveyMonkey as a free survey service.   Start from there and then.

Magazine It.  So we go where the numbers speak.  Identify a magazine that fits your target market.  Ask them, or find a colleague who’ll let you know the statistics and demographics on their subscribers. It’s succinct, true, legitimate.

Tried and True. Use Google or Bing.  It can be that simple. Once you have some demographics, a tried and true search should turn up more.

 

What Are Your Top 5 Tips for Succeeding at a Trade Show?
Asked by Sarah Shaw, The Entreprenette Gazette
July 14, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Be Dynamic and Engage!

1) Personal Story.  People relate to stories. It could be your own story as founder. It could be a story of one of your clients.  Make sure you have a personal story that is compelling and inspiring.

2) People.  We can’t overlook people!  Part of what makes your booth so special is the dynamism and sincerity of the people at the booth. Are they standing up and engaged, or sitting down and absorbed in their computer?  People need to feel you are excited to talk to them, without, however, being too forward or pushy.

3) Color and Words.   Color draws people to you.  Colors says “action” and “interesting,”  rather than staid and dull. Use words effectively, not just on 8×11 paper handouts.  If a word is important to your brand or organization, then post it up right under your logo on the back of the booth, in large 6 inch letters.  People only remember a few things, and they might remember just this one word as associated with your company.

4) Simplicity.  Don’t overdo it.  Pick 2-3 major points you’d like to communicate: Perhaps you emphasize your core service, its primary compelling feature, and a key quality of your brand, such as experience.

5)  Self-demonstration.  Allow people to take a demonstration for themselves. They shouldn’t have to wait for you, but should be able to view your service, and participate with it, on their own. Let them take time to explore.  Set up a computer or center so they can experience it firsthand.

 

What Was An Embarrassing Moment For You As An Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 9, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Who Are You?

You’re in my calendar but I don’t know who you are.

I have a wonderful team of people helping maintain my calendar including myself. Sometimes, new team members will put the name of the person in, but not the company. And while I have a pretty good memory, I can’t remember all the companies or organizations with whom we work!

So I was on a call and couldn’t ask which company they were from. I’d done my due diligence but couldn’t tie it back to which company.  In order to turn it to our advantage, I took on ‘extreme’ listening skills.  They had wanted me to present, but I graciously stated, “In order to truly present according to your needs, I’d like to hear more about you first.”

We should be listeners first anyways.  So this was a way to provide great client service, until I could figure out which company they were!  We had a very successful call.

 

What Is The Biggest Business Mistake Entrepreneurs Should Avoid?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 8, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Invest Early

At the beginning, and even now, we remain scrappy. We do all we can to use our resources well.

However, at times, you need to invest early.  One case in point is on trademarking.  I didn’t do it as early as I should have regarding our company name, because it cost $1,500. It seemed such a load at the time.  Imagine the load I faced 3 years later being wrongfully sued by a company that wanted the name. Even though we had first use, having the trademark would have bolstered our situation.

Invest the $1,500. Get protection in place early. It will save you hundreds of hours in your time, the board’s time, your team’s time — in protecting your name.

Invest early.

 

How Do You Define Success?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 1, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Live By Principle

If you are managing a team, performing sales, constructing operations, and working on human resources, do as best as you can to stick with Principle.  Do the right thing, where you can, at all times.  And this isn’t easy. It takes energy, forethought, deepest consideration. It’s moment by moment, hourly, daily, monthly…

For example, even if sales are slow, if you focus on building genuine relationships where you are helping people, eventually the right clients and revenue will come through. Success is not just the win, the new client. It’s the process of living rightly, which then brings in a positive result.   Live by Principle.

What’s Your Advice for Overcoming a Challenge?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 29, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Step by Step

Sometimes when I have faced a challenge, I just run a marathon.  It helps me know that if I can get through this challenge of running this long race, I can also persevere in whatever challenge I am facing in my life.  I don’t train, but, there is good mental training going on here, which is good for any aspect of life.

Step by step.  I go over my gratefuls. I refresh my mind with all the good that is in my life, be it the lovely sun, the fact that I can run, the wind, the joy of my parents, caring for my sister’s three kids, that I love my work in Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Poverty.  I am grateful I have a bed, I can choose what I want to eat each day.  Two billion people across the world don’t have a choice of what they do with their lives, much less what they eat.  They will never see a restaurant.  They do not have choice.

So Step by Step I make it through… to the next step. And so you will, too, with the challenge you are facing.  You will get there through gratitude and perseverance.  When I face tough challenges on the road, I keep remembering “If you took the last step, then you can take the next.  And the next… and the next.”  The only reason you wouldn’t take that next step, is if you decide not to.  Decide to persevere. Decide to make the best of it.  Realize that an opportunity is before you.  Believe that all is working together for good to help you learn lessons to make your business stronger.  And to make you a kinder, wiser leader.

Step by step.

What’s Your Best Guerilla Marketing Tip?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 22, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Guerilla Everywhere

Guerrilla marketing is really about being present everywhere.  Be in “Positive Stealth Mode.” That means wherever you are, you’re thinking about how you might be able to spread the word, bit by bit.

Practically, this is how it works. Have some small cards, 4×6 ready to go and carry them with you.  When you are at museums, they often have a table featuring community events with ordered cards. Place them there.

Starbucks has community bulletin boards. Tack a few cards there, one with the front of the card, and then one of the reverse side of your card.  Do this as well at the library, the local school, the PTA, Junior League, Small Business Association, church, Chamber of Commerce… you get the idea.

If you want to take it to the next level, you need to go Guerrillas  Marketing.  Identify the key places above; assemble a team (could be interns and students) and have them regularly frequent these places to ensure your cards are consistently present.

How Can a Couple Make a Business Partnership Work?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 10, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Share, Separate and Meet

To stay together as a couple, I’d “separate” when it comes to business.   Try to ensure that your skills are complementary in what you are covering in business.

You came together most likely for two reasons.  First, you shared the same values.   Second, you had separate, distinct attributes that helped one another.

So if you are going into business together then I’d follow this rule of three: Share, Separate and Meet. First, you share the same values and ‘the why’ behind your business.  Once you enter it on that common ground, then separate by focusing on your distinct skills.

Finally, come together and meet. Share what you are working on, lessons learned, and how you can become better both individually and as a team.

To stay together, and thrive! as a couple, share, separate and meet.  Have fun!

How Can You Get the Inside Scoop on Your Competition?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 2, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Outdistance Your Current Self, and Often, Your Competition

To watch your competition, watch yourself.  There is an extent to which you want to stay focused on your own product and your own service.  Your primary energy should be your own efforts to achieve excellence.  By constantly striving to improve what you offer; how you do it; ways in which your client service can excel to greater heights, you will outdistance your current self, and often, your competition.

Don’t get overly distracted by what others are doing. Stay focused on what you know you are good at.  Continue to build your unique and core competencies.

If you have to look, sign up for GoogleAlerts with your competitor’s name. Then quickly get back to the important work you were called to do.

How can you be better than your best today?

What Are the Best Ways to Thank Your Team?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 19, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Give Ownership, Give Voice

Thanking your team is essential.  Do it often and do it joyfully. It’s one of my most favorite things to do!

Our team at UniversalGiving works very hard.  And it is so important to not take it for granted. So thank them and thank them in many different and diverse ways. Here are two.

Give Ownership. Show you trust them.  Develop them, be there for them, train them… and then let them rise to the challenge and begin execution.  Provide positive and constructive feedback and then “put them out there again.”  They will learn through exciting opportunities, whether refining their writing, working on a marketing partnership, or outreaching to a Fortune 500 company.

Give Voice. Tell them 1-1 you are grateful for what they do.  Send it out in team emails, recognizing each team member, so that everyone’s valuable skills and contributions are made manifest. Say it verbally in a team meeting.

It is a balance.  You can’t say it all the time as it might seem over the top.  Listen to your instincts and when you hear the call to recognize, don’t hesitate.

One of the most powerful things you can do to recognize someone is to call them and thank them and say “You’re doing a wonderful job today, and I wanted to thank you. That’s it. I just wanted you to know, and for you to take the time to recognize it. Please know how much I appreciate your consistent work and positive attitude.”  Do not add on a ‘to do.’ I know that’s tempting as we as CEOs have a lot we want to accomplish!  But just let the conversation rest in genuine appreciation. It’s one of the best ways you can thank someone — without agenda.

 

What Is Your Best Fundraising Tip?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 18, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Start Before You Start

Start fundraising before you even think of your idea.

That sounds illogical. The point is that any truly good fundraising is based on long-term relationships.  That means cultivating and caring about relationships pretty much since day 1. I’d say age 10 is a good start!

Even when we are young we cultivate relationships of influence. Family friends may support you. A teacher. Someone you knew from camp might some day be the head of a company – or a bank.  Care sincerely about people, as they might come back into your life. And when you need to make an ask for funding, the relationship, the respect and your personal reputation will already be there.

Don’t wait to build relationships…they are the foundation of all good fundraising.  It simply means you are asking people to be involved in your life, who already are involved.

 

How Can a Small Business Find a Good Attorney?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 10, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Advisory Board Kicks In

There are sometimes you access your board. Sometimes you access your advisory board.  In this case, you could go for both.

I believe many advisory boards are underutilized. They become high level names which are nameplates. But they are people who have important relationships — first of all with you.  So I’d use an opportunity such as is to outreach to them and ask their advice.

In particular, seek out advisory board members who have had entrepreneurial, startup, or small company experience.   They can recommend smart, nimble, less expensive attorneys.  On the otherhand, larger firms often have probono resources or cuts for smaller companies.

The most important element is that you feel you have a champion within the firm who believes in your company or cause.  They will work harder for you, save you time, and do all they can to help you succeed.

If you legally don’t need or have an advisory board, create one anyway. It’s helpful to have people who support your vision.  And it’s easy for them to outreach, make a call on your behalf. They feel  good and that they are being helpful, which they are.

What Lesson Have You Learned From the Recession?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 4, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

One Year in the Bank

Always have one year in the bank.

We make it a part of our financial policy, which is approved by the board. This recession, we didn’t let anyone go, we didn’t reduce hours, we didn’t cut benefits. People who needed to leave, did leave, and we were left with a very tight, culturally sound, and strongly executing team.   And in even later in the recession, we increased some people’s hours, benefits, and brought some on salary.

Have a year in the bank.  You’ll save money and time in demoralization, rebuilding your culture, and rebuilding your team. Give yourself, your organization, and your team that security.

 

What Challenges Face Women Entrepreneurs?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 29, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Principle Over Personal

As women, we have a nature that can be described as perceptive, intuitive, sensitive and caring. I do believe these qualities make us personable leaders.  They make us aware of the importance of relationships in all walks of life, personal and professional.

The other side is that we can personalize. We may “feel” too much, emotionalize, or be too sensitive.  That can skew judgment to what we feel, which is not always based on principle.

Adhere to principle. Stick with the right thing to do.  Some people may not like it. Some people might call you insensitive.  You might not ‘feel’ good. But you will rest at night knowing you operated to your highest level of integrity.

Principle Over Personal.

 

How Would You Use 60 Seconds to Become a Better Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 27, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Gratitude and Focus

If I had 60 seconds to improve myself, I’d first start with gratitude. I hope we can get off the hamster treadmill of go-go-go with little time for reflection.  Entrepreneurs are not animals…We’re critical thinkers striving to change the world.

So start with gratitude. Review what has gone well. Reinforce it:  What you focus on will be drawn more readily into your life.  Be thankful, emphasize, be grateful, be humbled, be excited by all the good that has already occurred!

Now we’re ready to focus: How can I create more good in my life and the life of others?  What value can I provide?  Today alone, what are the top 1-2 priorities which can bring about more of this defined goodness and value into our business world and communities?

 

How Do You Find the Ideal Retail Store Location?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 15, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Qualities Coupled with Convenience

Retail Location depends on qualities.  What are the qualities of your customer?

Think:

Fun? (amusement park)
Kidlike? (where most families might live)
Sophisticated? (high end neighborhoods)
Multicultural? (urban cities)
Stingy? (Find out what frugal people MUST have and build an easily accessible store around their needs).

Couple that with convenience, that it is easily accessible, and you should have a winner!

 

What’s a Unique Place to Invite Clients to Meet You?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 12, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Come See Me On Stage

That’s right. Invite your clients and prospective clients to come see you on stage.

I perform Improv  in San Francisco and Los Angeles at Groundlings (Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow),  Upright Citizens Brigade (Amy Poehler), Second City and Bay Area Theatre Sports.  You get up on stage, ask for a suggestion from the audience, and create a scene from nothing.

Invite your clients to see this.  They will  see your quick thinking. Your ability to think of solutions.

They will also see your courage.  Your ability to tackle a new situation.  Your joy.  Your sense of humor.  Your teamwork.

They will want to work with you because they will know you will work hard to creative ways to make your business succeed.

Extra on Client Service: Have a ticket waiting for them at the door.

What Do You Recommend for Continued Growth This Year?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
April 5, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Not Win-Win, But They Win

In most relationships, we think about Win-Win. But for now, we’ll should think about “They Win.”

Think about what a potential client needs, not what you need.

This is hard to do. You care about your business, and you would sincerely like to build it. You’d like to increase sales.  Yet in this economic time, relationships are built slower. Close times are longer.

So start with them. As always, cultivate that long-term relationship. Find out what is important to them, and if you can help them, do it.  Yes, even if it isn’t entirely related to your business.  Prove your value, and, quite simply, be helpful.

In the longrun it will come back to you. You may not know exactly how, or from what source, but caring about a potential client’s needs in a very wholistic, selfless way will come back to help you.

 

How Do You Handle a SuperStar Worker Who Is Also Distracting?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 29, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Customize Your SuperStar

Customize your SuperStar. If they produce great results, wonderful.  However, if they are also distracting the team or you, then provide a customized schedule.  Perhaps they work as a consultant; perhaps they are part-time.  You might have them work from home for part of their day.  However, be careful that your culture is consistent, equal and honors all employees’s preferences.  I wouldn’t reward distraction by telling the person they get to work from home.

My larger question is this:  Superstars are great on Execution and Attitude.  You not only have to produce strong results, but also be a strong contributor to your corporate culture. And that means maintaining a focus on the vision; being positive; and helping all team members achieve their goals.  Good ideas?  Welcome them.  Distraction?  Let them use their own time for wanderings not relevant to your goals.  So… are they really  the superstar you think they are?

 

What Can You Do When a Partnership Is Falling Apart?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 17, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Stop It. Or Focus.

This is a hard one.  If it’s that bad – then you simply need to stop the partnership or partnering with a team member.  This is especially true if it conflicts with your values.  Remember, this will take more energy, by ruminating about it, worrying, staying up at night.  It can also take more energy through extended, unproductive conversations…Be prepared to bolster yourself for the conversation which may be highly uncomfortable.

If you can’t Stop It, then Focus. Figure out the 1 or 2 key areas you must maintain.  Determine the guidelines of what you need to achieve – and no further. This is one of those times when your drop your standards of client service.  That doesn’t mean you can’t be pleasant.  But be firm in your focus, how much energy you devote and where it will be spent.  Move on quickly to more positive partnerships and spend your time there.

Listen to your SGI next time: Spiritual Gut Instinct, which always tells you the right thing to do :)

 

Where Do You Recommend Entrepreneurs Go to Recharge?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 10, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Inside Your Mind

Go inside your mind. Find peace. Go over your gratefuls. Affirm all the good in your life.  Be at peace first with yourself and your creator, or the universe, or whatever Truth connects you.  From this foundation you will find more peaceful relationships naturally occuring with others.  You are predisposed to peace, which recharges your batteries.

And for just fun?  Do Improv. Be a character. Transform yourself and get into a totally different realm! If it’s not improv, what is it for you? Is it running a race in the wilderness?  Knitting on the beach?   Creating art from old coke cans?

 

How Do You Address Low Morale?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 8, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Listen Compassionately

Often as entrepreneurs, we want to make it better. We want to fix it, improve it, and move on!

Understanding the pulse of morale takes listening. What are the reasons for low morale?  You have to start there.  It could be a cut in hours or pay, not feeling as if they are growing in the way that they want, wishing they had more access to the CEO, or, their own personal issues.  All are very different, and should be treated uniquely.

Your solutions will be unique.  Once you have listened compassionately, you’ll find you could spend perhaps a few minutes more with an employee and it makes the world of difference. Maybe they want to have a team event, more transparency in communications, or flexible hours.  Having said that, you and your leadership team need to determine what you can and cannot take action on, clearly describe the principles by which you are operating, and let the culture stand from there.

You will find some people turn around and are so grateful you have listened. Others may continue to gripe.  Some will respond in kind and feel a greater connection to your vision, organization, and culture.  Others will naturally exit. Others you may have to ask to leave.  It’s not an easy situation. And it takes patience and care to address each particular situation.

But listen compassionately. Start there.  Then, make the decisions on what you can and can’t change.  Describe the principles behind your decisions. And then let your team either back you up or move on.  Your organization and culture may not work for everyone.  But you must stand by your leadership team’s principles and values, which will carry your culture and vision through the longterm.

 

What Are the Best Resources for Entrepreneurs Online?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 2, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Start Young

Well, let’s start young. One of the best places is Sparkseed.  Sparkseed invests in young college-age entrepreneurs who want to create a business or nonprofit, that also has a social cause. They have competitions, provide seed funding & resources to help you succeed.  It’s so important in an economy where often you have to make your living happen!

Unreasonable Institute helps support young social entrepreneurs with mentorships, classes, tools and an institute gathering. They are inspiring this generation to get started.

Other key ones that expand into the adult group and are international:
MassChallenge:   invites entrepreneurs to submit business plans from all over the world.
Foundation for Youth Social Entrepreneurship: supports entrepreneurs in more than 10 Asian countries.
Global Social Venture Competition

 

What’s Your Best Marketing Tip for Entrepreneurs?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 23, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Authentic Voice

Use your authentic voice. Big companies have a spokesperson. They have a Communications department. They offer official statements, and before they can submit one, it can takes days, weeks, months for approval.  At that point, part of the authenticity is lost…and late.

Entrepreneurs just speak for themselves. Use your blog, your website, and speaking engagements to make your services more personable. Let them see the person behind the organization.  Let them know why you do what you do.  Bring out the meaning behind your product or service.

Your clients will feel and be more attached to your presence. Your knowledge. Your expertise… Your authentic voice.

 

What Gadget Increases Your Efficiency?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 18, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Don’t Answer and Delete

One of my favorite and most efficient tools is my Blackberry.

And the first rule of thumb here is “Don’t Answer it.”

I get all my calls at the end of the day. In that way, I don’t react.  I can leave voicemails for people at night and still have efficient turnaround, being responsive.

The next way I use it is “Deleting.”  Before you get on a plane, you’ve got 20 minutes. Go through all your ‘easy’ emails. Not the ones that take a lot of writing, but the ones that provide you information and you can then delete, or, merit a quick response. Set it up so your Blackberry deletes on your server as well. In that way when you return to your computer, a good 15-30 emails are cleared away, and your inbox doesn’t overwhelm.

So that’s my answer. Use your Blackberry, but Don’t Answer and Delete like crazy!

 

What’s the Worst Business Advice You Ever Received?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 10, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Pack It All In

I was young in my career and meeting with a fairly older, single woman.  She was a successful venture capitalist.  I don’t know that I would consider her life successful.  She traveled the world incessantly and was on every important board.  But she seemed tired and joy was scarce.  She told me to “Pack it all in.”

I didn’t.  I kept my balance.  I started a nonprofit and I did creative improv.  I took care of my very young nephews & nieces.  I loved life and I loved the people in my life.  Pack in balance.

 

What’s Your Best Tip for Brainstorming Business Ideas?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 2, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Don’t Think, and the Answer Will Come

That’s what we do in Improv. Don’t think.  We actually have t-shirts sometimes that have a red circle through Think!

Why?  Because sometimes our conscious brains can only take us so far.  And that far is not enough.  So we have to go back and access our natural instincts, intuition, and connection with people to find the answers.

And then the answers come naturally.

The creativity flows.  New ideas… different ways of viewing the world… come into your experience.  Put out your request for help sincerely in your mind, and then let the answers surround you.  You might find the answer speaking to a homeless person and watching how industrious they are.  At church. A marketing message on a billboard.  It will come, it just won’t come the way you think it would.

Stop your brainstorming.  Shut off your thoughts.  Put an eternal hold on that “Creative Strategies Session.”   Don’t think, and the answer will come.

What’s the Worst Thing That Could Happen to an Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
February 2, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Losing Yourself

You will probably face a lot of joys and a lot of challenges as you grow your endeavor. Enjoy it all.  What seems challenging, if you let it, will make you a better person.  Not just a stronger person — but a smarter, more compassionate, caring, humbler, and yes — stronger person.

The worst thing that can happen is to lose your integrity. To lose your relationship with yourself.  To lose your inner Truth.  To have some type of disconnect that doesn’t truly represent who you are.

Don’t Lose Yourself. It’s the greatest contribution you can make to our society.  Everything else you give will be a facade if you don’t have your own foundation of values.

 

How Do You Suggest Finding a Good Accountant?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
January 28, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

Go with a Hub

Go with a Hub providing accountants. Accountants can be challenging to determine the right fit.  You’ll need someone good with numbers. Someone who can communicate effectively. Someone who fits well within your team.

If you go with a larger organization that sends out accountants to numerous organizations, you’ll be able to determine a good fit. If someone doesn’t work out, you don’t have to start entirely over. The “Hub” of accountants can send you someone new.  Determining the right fit is not just about the numbers, but about being able to communicate effectively with someone, as well.

 

What Do You Recommend For Making an Entrepreneur’s First Million?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
January 11, 2010

Pamela’s Response:

How Long is the Line?

The line of people. And not just any line. It’s the line of people you have served through this venture in a positive way.  Imagine it to be long.  Think of spreading your value, integrity and service to as many people as possible. Sometimes it relates to your product. Sometimes your service doesn’t relate.  But you are always helping, always serving.

And the line of fans and loyal customers grows.

And so your first million will appear.

But the focus is on the line.

 

What’s Your Creative New Business Idea?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
December 29, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Fly Me To Work

I’d like to commute above. If I could, I’d don a jet pack that could allow me to rise above the traffic and fly to work. If people are paying as individuals to fly into space, then we will be able to fly into work.

It’d have to be ecofriendly. If it polluted more, then you’d have to pay 100x more than it takes to commute via car or public transportation.

I love the wind, air, nature and views. And I’d pay to not be sitting in a car!

 

What Do You Predict for 2010?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
December 8, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Be the Good News

It’s seems it negative or slow growth news these days. I say don’t join this crowd.

Be the good news. Make someone’s life better by a small innovation. People want to reward meaning. They will pay for a sincere product, especially if they trust you. Focus on making these connections.

My prediction is that people will gravitate towards honest entrepreneurs who they can touch. People who will provide a relevant service. People they can talk to. Be someone’s good news.

 

What Would Your Significant Other Say To You re: Your Business?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
November 23, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

More Than OK

Most times in business, “OK” is the enemy. It has no special ring to it. It has no quality, no differentiator, no enthusiasm behind it. But here, I think my spouse would say “It’s more than OK. It’s great you are positive; that you care so much. And it’s fine, it’s more than OK, to rest a bit. It’s OK to take time for yourself, your family, your books, a walk, or quiet time by the fire. In fact…It’s necessary to being the kind and giving person you want to be.

It’s more than OK.”

What Book Do You Recommend for Women Entrepreneurs?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
November 20, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

The Leader of the Future

Frances Hesselbein was a mentee of Peter Drucker. This 90-something leader is still going strong, speaking internationally, and helping women leaders and entrepreneurs all over the world. Here is the must-read:

The Leader of the Future by Frances Hesselbein, written with Marshall Goldsmith

She’s inspiring and practical; there is no end to her energy!

 

What is Your Best Tip on Guerilla Marketing?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
November 3, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Empower Interns!

College and young professionals appreciate getting true on the ground experience. With a solid manual and practical activities, interns can do a lot of legwork and outreach for you. We’ve had interns as young as 19 outreach to journalists and attain blog links and interviews.

Do make sure that the interns are getting great professional experience. For those proven, meet with them and help them with their career path. You can also offer to write a letter of recommendation.

 

How Can an Entrepreneur Achieve Their First Million?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
October 20, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

No Quick Way to Quality

You want your first million.

There’s no quick way to it, if you want it to last.  No quick way to quality relationships, which means you want your first million to remain continued, returning revenue.

So do your best to find the right partners, who are focused on the same values as you. They want a long-term relationship and mutual win-win, too.

Find this “type of million” — and you’ll soon be closing, and maintaining, your next million.

It’s not about the money. It’s about the relationship.

 

How Can You Get Free Entrepreneurial Support?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
October 1, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Go Get a Quick Advanced Degree

I’d get an advanced degree at Harvard, pronto. That’s what I do.

Harvard Business School Publishing Society lists a host of articles, blogs, thought leaders on super subjects. Some are philosophical, but many are practical, on the ground tips.

Go get a second degree by studying the thought and recommendations of Harvard professors, guest speakers, entrepreneurs, who freely share their wealth of wisdom. We’re fortunate they do so!

 

How Can You Embrace Competitors You Once Wanted to Destroy?
Asked by Mike Michaolowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 17, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Competitor!  Wait, Collaborator?

I don’t ever wish to destroy my competition.

Your competitors demonstrate there is a market need. Be grateful there is a need for your service.

Think of your competitor as someone you might collaborate with, if the values are in synergy. It might not be now; but it may well be in the future.

Keep a positive relationship with, and view, of your competitors. It does not mean you are in constant communication, but you are open. Life and relationships are constantly evolving.

 

How Do You Get Through a Dark Day?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 9, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Run a Marathon

Run a Marathon. You’ll find it interesting and educational, both about life and yourself. When I have been through a challenge, I’ve often said, “If I can make it through this marathon, then I can make it through this challenge.”

It inspires and elevates you; and accomplishes a goal.  So then yes, you can be inspired to plug through, and “accomplish” through this challenge or dark period you are facing.

How do you get through a marathon? What is the ultimate strategy?

It’s step-by-step.  If you made it through the last step, you will make it through this one.  The only reason you wouldn’t is if you told yourself to stop.  So don’t stop.  Make that next step. And the next, and the next, until you are done.

The night sets; it’s dark; but there are stars and glowing, guiding moon to help you with your way. Find the ‘brights’ in the night you are facing. It may be a long night. But remember that that sun IS coming up again tomorrow.  It will come.  So take that next step, and get going on that marathon.

 

How Can You Land Your First Client?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
September 1, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Commit to “Open the Deal,” and Make It Ongoing

It’s your potential first client.  Make sure you demonstrate the multiple ways that you can help affect their business, even if you only start with one service or work with one business unit. In that way they will see you as a long-term, multi-faceted partner with whom they can expand their business relationship with in the future.

While in these meetings, be a great listener. Sales are not really about ‘closing the deal.’   Listen to their goals and painpoints. Examine if your services can address these needs.  True partnerships are about long-term relationships.  You never really close the deal; what you want is to cultivate a trustworthy, long-term, mutually valuable engagement.  That means it is open — and ongoing.

Be Open. Commit to “Open the Deal,” and Make It Ongoing.

 

What Gives You Confidence?
Asked by Jen Matlack
August 28, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Have a Grateful Day

What gives me confidence: Being grateful. This manifests itself in appreciating all things, and appreciating people.  You will feel stronger and can live a more vibrant, caring life.

I try to state my gratefuls in the morning and the evening. The challenge now is to do it throughout the day.

Here is what a beautifully confident day can look like:

Wake up with 5 things you are grateful for.  Be grateful for the beautiful rose on the walk to work, and do take time to smell them, and several times if you can. Say hello to the homeless person.  Really ask your dry cleaner sincerely how they are.  If it’s sunny, bask in the warmth. If it’s rainy, be grateful for the nourishment for our earth, flowers, trees and farms. Walk slowly. Take time to great your team in the morning. Before a meeting, be grateful for any positive discussion or new idea. After a meeting, be grateful for any positive advancement or development.   Sit down with your children and really get into their world, playing in their realm. Cook a meal and be grateful for all the food we have here, and, that we get to choose what we eat. In many parts of the world, they don’t have the luxury of choosing.  Or they quite simply don’t have enough to eat.  In the evening, be silent and rest in the peace. Go over five gratefuls from your day.

These are moments, vignettes, people — all a part of your community.  Weave gratitude, and recognizing others, into your daily life. You will feel strong,  vibrant, more authentic, caring, and confident.

 

How Can You Improve Your Collections?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 27, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Peacefully Persistent

When you have to collect funds, it’s not an easy task. Be peaceful and persistent.

In some fundraising situations, the seeker might get impatient or become too persistent due to their needs.  We can be different.

Try scheduling consistent messages that are kind, concise and clear and, also provide helpful or insightful information tailored to their interests.  You can follow up persistently, but it might be over a long course of time.  Remember to provide space if you haven’t heard back.  Be positive. Most people want to help someone who is nice.

Be peaceful, be persistent, and you will attain the other important “p” word — profit.

 

How Can You Raise Money Fast?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 18, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Be Inspired and Be Specific!

Any great investor is inspired by both the leader and the challenge at hand. Your job is to be upbeat; inspired, stating your request in a compelling way: “I want to build this part of our corporate product out to this segment market. It has been proven to do well for us. This is the time to move quickly and establish brand recognition, saturating this target market. They will either buy now or think of us in the future.”

Don’t fundraise from need. Fundraise from strength and specificity.

 

How Can You Think Out of the Box?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 6, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Stand On The Box

Don’t just think out of the box. Stand on the box.

Imagine yourself standing on that darn box because you have the smarts, intuition and creativity to command your organization to the next level. Imagine yourself surveying the future from the height of that box. Take a long, long distance view. What do you see? What do you hope people will be saying about your organization? In 10 years? In 50?

Now step down from the box, walk over to your desk, sit down, (or stand for those of us ancy entrepreneurs with standup desks), and get to work on your top 1-2 priorities that will bring that decade vision into reality.

It’s not out of the box, it’s on the box. Command your vision. Start thinking bigger. Look for and reach out to the horizon of your success.

 

How Can You Get Ready to Be an Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
August 4, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Right Now.  Write Now.

Start writing down your thoughts. If an executive summary is too overwhelming for you, then begin with bullet points. Separate it into vision for the company; operational business units and their function; and organizational culture. The first one goes into your executive summary for investors. The last two are how you want to organize your business and the culture you want to instill.

Don’t start without your Executive Summary. If you come across an investor interested in your verbal idea– earlier than you thought — what will you have to show him or her?

Write it down, Right Now.

 

How Do You Set Priorities?
Asked by Stephanie Calahan, Calahan Solutions
August 3, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Don’t Settle for Jello

If you’re trying to set yourself up to succeed, it’s all about setting yourself on firm ground.  Don’t  settle for “Jello” priorities.   Think about the top 1- 3 items that will put a stake in the ground for your business today. Ask yourself:  Would I speak about this with a reporter? At the dinner table, proudly, with my significant other? If I were accepting the Nobel Prize? Seriously.  It could be new corporate contracts. A large marketing partnership.  Big media coverage.  What would significantly change your business, and our world?

Don’t settle for wishy washy. No one wants to set their business on “jello” ground. Set it on a firm foundation by identifying and going after your few big wins, every day.

 

How Can You Best Break Up a Business Partnership?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 30, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Find a Win For Your Partner

Try to find a Win for your business partner. Could you check in with them to get their advice on a certain topic, once per quarter? Is there something of value you can provide them, that doesn’t hurt your business? Find a way for them to feel as if they gained something. They might not accept your offer, but they will appreciate being appreciated.

They were your business partner at one time and provided some type of value. Balance that value with the need to protect your business and move on.

 

What Lessons Have You Learned as an Entrepreneur?
July 30, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Stay Open in How You Build Your Team
I was volunteering in Cambodia with people handicapped by the mines.  I met a lovely Cambodian woman, and we stayed in touch.  Five years later she moved to the U.S. and needed a job. She is now my data entry specialist for the past two years. She fits right in with our global culture, and coming from Cambodia, is grateful for her position. Try to stay in touch with people,  as you may find future team members from all across the world.

A second lesson learned: Build your longterm team through interns.  We have a full team of volunteers and interns. Those who prove themselves over time, we oftentimes convert to paid team members.   It’s a great recruitment tool for us and a positive work experience for our volunteers and interns.

Be A Creative CEO

Don’t just be a workaholic. Have an outside interest.  I went on a date with a guy and he took me to an Improv show. It didn’t work out with the guy, but I thought, “I wonder if I can do that!”  Soon I was up on the stage.  It took years of work. But, now I can make people laugh and laugh at myself.

Critically important, it helps small business communications. The intuition, selflessness, authenticity and teamwork you need on stage — are exactly what one needs to be a positive team member.

Lesson learned:  Have an outside activity that makes you a better person out and in the office.

 

How Do You Avoid Distractions When Working From Home?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 28, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Balance and Value Your Tasks

Agree to get 1 or 2 major items from your list done first. Keep a positive quote in front of you to keep you motivated. Have your water bottle filled so you have no excuse to go get a drink. Set a goal: 2 hours? 3? Time lunch so it is a reward and normal break in your day. Finish the day with ‘easy’ to-dos. Finally: this is your present day, and your future. Stay on these proposals and focus. It’s not just a paper…it’s the future manifestation of your business and vision for your life!

 

How Can You Balance Parenthood and Entrepreneurship?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 23, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Be Present!

Be present. Doing both things at once (reconciling bills while trying to help your children with their latest painting) makes no one feel good. Your time for work is time for work; your time with your children is truly for them. Everyone will feel valued. Then they know when “Mommy needs to work and help people,” and “Yay! Mommy is all mine!” Be present.

If you have a newborn, then that’s not necessarily always the case. You can reconcile the books, talk to client with your baby if you feel it is not disruptive… but even then, divided attention can show through. So strive to be ‘in the moment’ with each person you are with.

 

How Can You Gain Confidence as an Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
July 14, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Gratitude Brings Confidence

Be grateful. We’re in a country where red tape is low, entrepreneurship is encouraged, and creativity is part of the American way. Many countries don’t encourage an entrepreneurial culture, and we have it.

Gratitude for being able to start a business, gratitude for the freedom to decide where to work, gratitude for the ability to work, to decide where we live, to decide which healthcare plans we’d like (again, all in comparison to how other countries operate, and specifically developing nations) makes us realize…

How much we have.

This gives us a humble confidence to continue pursuing our dreams, step by step.

Gratitude brings a sense of joy, peace and then confidence so that we can maintain our course. Go for it – – and be grateful along the path!

 

How Can You Overcome a Business Challenge?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 16, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Find Something Going Well

To get unstuck, I would truly live in the present moment. Right now, can I think a positive thought? What is going well?  No matter how tough it gets, there has to be some thing that is going well.  We can even resort to nature.  Thank you that the sun is shining. Thank you that I have a great father, or wonderful relationship with my sister.  Thank you that I have a wonderful new bed that allows me to sleep peacefully.  Thank you for the rosebush on the street, that blooms so radiantly, and is free for all of us to smell and enjoy.  If you are in America, thank you that I have the right to vote, that I have the right to choose hundreds of places to eat from everyday.

You will realize your wealth – your true wealth — and more will come.

For the challenges that seem to keep you stuck, remember, it will pass. The mountain will pass and at some point, you get to start walking downhill.  So keep climbing, keep being grateful, and…. keep going.

My 97 year old Oma and grandmother, one of my best friends once told me,” Whenever I feel down I find something to be grateful for, and I find someone else who is in a worse situation and help them. It helps me be grateful.”

To get unstuck:  Find something to be grateful for.

 

How Can You Find a Hidden Talent?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
June 10, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Take an Improv Class

An Improv Class will encourage you to think across so many genres: different movies, countries, accents, periods of time. Then you must become what is needed for the scene: an alien, an 18th century aristocrat, a 60 year old truck driver, a 5 year old girl. Get your different voices out, walk with a certain gait, dance, sing. Transform yourself on stage, and you will discover more passions and hidden talents within!

 

How Do You Stay Focused?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 28, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Envision the World You’ll Create

Do not get overwhelmed by all there is to do. Quickly picture what you hope to achieve: Envision it, imagine yourself standing there, amidst all of your products or happy customers, or actually seeing and living how you want to change the world…be in that world and know that it exists. Allow yourself minutes to feel this and experience it, then come out of this state of mind and pull out a pad of paper. Write down at the top: Motive to Serve the World by Doing X” and then write the Top 3 Must Dos for the Day, and the Top 5 Hope I Get To Them. Start Doing!

What’s Your Best Advice for Growing a Business?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
May 21, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Entrepreneurial Minds

An entrepreneur of a small company who wants to grow it doesn’t have to hire like minded entrepreneurs, but they do have to hire entrepreneurial people. There’s a critical difference between being an entrepreneur (who is also entrepreneurial) and hiring entrepreneurial people. Entrepreneurial people don’t necessarily want to start their own organization, or necessarily have visionary ideas, but they are willing to do what it takes, create systems on the spot, not get scared off by the fact that certain processes aren’t yet in place (in fact they relish creatively creating them). Your team can’t just be willing to do one thing.

How Can You Become an Entrepreneur?
Asked by Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
March 25, 2009

Pamela’s Response:

Like Raising a Child

Any good entrepreneur has to have passion and perseverance. You have to absolutely love it, live it, nourish it, cherish it. It’s like a child in that there are exhilarating highs and lows, but worth it all.  Second perseverance.  Run that marathon. And run another one. And then another.  This is not a 5K and most certainly not the 100 yard dash.

3 thoughts on “Social Entrepreneurship

  1. victor davis

    pamela, pls,your personal view to this questions will be appreciated.1.is there really a kind of Mindset for achieving success?2.if there is, how can it be acquired,and how can it be impacted to others especially youths in edo state of nigeria whose main preocupation is prostitution for the girls and tuggery for the boys.Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Pamela Hawley Post author

      Dear Victor,

      Thank you for your insightful comment. I am not sure there is a “formula” for success — but I do think that a mindset, as you describe, could be possible. There are certainly certain qualities that are important in being successful. I think you have to maintain a positive, pragmatic attitude. You can’t just be positive for being positive; but you do need to endure, persevere and overcome challenges. I am not sure we can do this without being hopeful, and positively persevering, which is being positive.

      I think about building a home, when I think about my mind. When you build a home, you have to have a vision. A vision of what you would like to create. If you have a negative vision of your home then it certainly is not going to become a beautiful home! :) So we need to maintain that vision, even when the going gets rough. Even if you run out of brick. Even if the paint color didn’t match the way you wanted it to. Even if you have to fumigate! Hold the vision, and keep striving for it.

      So what has helped me during tough times is not just to focus on the positive, but on gratitude. Even in tough times there is something to be grateful for. If you are having a hard time in sales and partnerships, perhaps you can be grateful you uplifted that potential client’s day with a positive smile or sincere compliment…

      On an entirely different level…if a natural disaster has occurred, you can still be grateful that the sun came out, as in many countries pollution blocks the sun. That a friend is near. That people are caring and helping. Even in a crisis, and often especially in a crisis, the greatest goodness of people comes out. We can find the good even when we don’t seem ‘to have or own much.’ True wealth comes from qualities of being loving, kind, sincere, genuine, giving. And how wonderful — that that wealth is available to each one of us, every moment.

      Victor, I know it’s not always easy. And especially difficult for younger children and teenagers who perhaps do not see much hope around. But look at this! I googled “Postive Things in Nigeria” http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-14285.0.html and there is actually a website named it! See all the wonderful comments people put below:

      ***
      great weather
      no naturl disasters
      great food
      great women
      intelligent people
      excitement
      wondeful languages
      impresive culture

      ***

      sade511 (f)Re: Positive Things About Nigeria
      « #7 on: June 02, 2006, 07:58 PM »

      Good food
      Beautiful people
      Smart people
      Hardworking people
      Friendly people
      Everyone is family (meaning every one is your aunty/uncle/etc)
      Theres always something to do
      No hurricanes or anything like that

      ***

      So Victor, how wonderful to see people caring. And, please look at the qualities — hospitality, kind people, family — all not material but accessible to us all.

      Thank you for your important question, Victor, and I hope this has helped.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: How To Have a Positive Mindset « Living and Giving

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